Reviewed – Navy Lace Shift Dress from Kaliko

Last Thursday saw one of the most swish, stylish events in the Midlands fashion calender. The Harvey Nichols fashion show is always full of fashion, fizz and supremely stylish looks – an event where everyone dresses to impress. I was a little stumped for what to wear for this particular show as it was taking place in a specially constructed space in the Mailbox car park, so I was worried it might be a little cold, and I also wanted something bright to stand out amongst the grey and concrete. Luckily, Kaliko had the perfect dress.

Navy Lace Shift Dress now £79.20 click to visit Kaliko

Navy Lace Shift Dress
now £79.20 click to visit Kaliko

Kaliko is part of the Jacques Vert group, (along with Planet, Precis Petite and Windsmoor), and I feel it really understands the art of occasion dressing, producing pieces which are grown up and timeless. Their dresses are elegant, but they are not frumpy, and this is down to the precision of the cut, and the use of bright colour, pulling women away from just wearing a little black dress. This season, there are, once again, an abundance of lace dresses, still taking inspiration from the Duchess of Cambridge, who opts for lace styles again and again.

DSCN9425I found this dress absolutely perfect for me. It has 3/4 sleeves that are nicely fitted to the arms without being tight, with a sheer lace look that is so pretty. The v neckline is flattering for a larger bust, and this is my preferred skirt length, sitting just on my knee. The lace body of the dress is conservatively lined, with no see-thru bits to worry about.  The concealed back zip makes this easy to get on and off, but again, due to a little stretch in the fabric, I can get this on over my head – great if there is no one to zip you up and you failed contortion-ism class.

DSCN9424I just teamed this dress with my favourite sparkly Westwood Melissa’s, and an oversized silver clutch bag. I think silver is a lovely option for accessories with this shade of blue (almost blue/purple in some lights), although I think gold could be really nice too, especially if you are wearing the dress to a Christmas party.


A close up of the fabric.

I think this dress was a really successful choice for the fashion show, I felt comfortable wearing it and when I switched to flat silver pumps (to run for the train – oh the glamour!) I think it still worked well.


With Emily Jayne Philips


With Laura from Luxx Mint blog.

*I was sent a dress from Kaliko for review. All opinions are my own.

Family Fever

Dressing up for Halloween

One of my favourite night’s of the year is October 31st. I just love Halloween! As a child I was always allowed to go out ‘Trick or Treating’, collecting goodies and even a little bit of cash along the way, and now I have Joe, Halloween has got exciting all over again. He just loves the dressing up in a spooky Halloween costume, and the chance to have a special Halloween party too. This year he has his heart set on a Dracula costume, luckily Asda has a great range of fancy dress for all ages, including the Count, so Joe will get his Halloween wish.

Dracula Fancy Dress Costume from £10.00 click to visit Asda

Dracula Fancy Dress Costume

Last year, we were very lucky as Halloween fell during the school holiday, which meant we could go to a very special event held at a local museum. The Manor House museum in West Bromwich is mentioned in the Domesday Book, and for many years it was both a pub and a restaurant. These days, it is a great museum that holds many family -friendly events, and last year it was transformed into Halloween Town, with  Jack and Sally introducing the Halloween Nightmare Before Christmas.


There was even a snow machine!


Check out my niece’s booties!

It was a fabulous event for children. There was a very funny wizard/magician who had the children enthralled with his silly tricks. There were a couple of witchy storytellers who added a chill to the air with their not so spooky stories, and there were arts and crafts, refreshments, a bouncy castle and so much more. And it was all free.

DSCN4798We did, however, have a minor hiccup with Joe’s costume. It was a pumpkin costume purchased by nan, who seemed not to have noticed that Joe had grown considerably over the Summer. When we came to put it on, the trousers were like short leggings. I offered to get Joe another costume, but he refused, so we had to improvise. With long johns and wellies. The overall look was hilarious, but Joe absolutely loved it.


Joe plays wizard’s assistant.

Those long johns and leggings!

Those long johns and leggings!

Do you have any special plans for Halloween this year? Do they involve dressing up? I would love to hear what you have planned.




Birds Eye – Getting into the mealtime routine

The school holidays are an amazing , fun time, but they are also the time when all routines seem to fly out of the window. Children get up later, go to bed later, and seem to eat at different times, snacking in between meals on ice creams, crisps, biscuits and all manner of things.

Our school holiday was full of chances to eat out, including a couple of weeks away on holiday. There were also picnics in the park to make the most of the lovely weather and late night snacks after full days out. Basically, the old mealtime routine was nowhere to be seen. But now school is back, and I can safely say that after a month in the classroom, we are now finally getting back to normal.

Holiday meal times


A party.


A barbecue


A picnic in the park.


Lunch at Cadbury World

Frozen food specialists Birds Eye understand that meal times can sometimes be stressful. So, this September it has provided busy families with a helping hand that ensures, in their own words, “clean plates and happy kids”. Visit Birds Eye to see inspirational videos (Click here to view), with mini #Afterschoolchefs showing off 6 recipes perfect for a tasty teatime parents and kids will both love.

I find that Birds Eye make tea times much simpler, as Joe really loves so many of their products. At the moment, his current favourites are #Mashtags and the chicken space shapes, which are breaded shapes made from 100% chicken. I find these are quick to prepare, and Joe loves them together, with some vegetables and gravy. I let Joe choose what he would like to eat, letting him check the freezer himself, and then I tell him how long he has to watch TV before food is ready. This makes it all quite stress free and organised.


Birds Eye is fabulous for the sorts of food that children love, like fish fingers (both Cod and Haddock varieties), breaded and battered fish, chicken dippers and nuggets, and all varieties of burgers. As most of these can be grilled, they are healthier options, and the 100% meat is a real selling point. But Birds Eye is not just about ‘kids food’. As a family, we sometimes struggle to eat together, with hubby working irregular hours as a carpenter. Any issue on the job, or heavy traffic on the way home, can lead to mealtime delays, so food that is hot, but can be prepared quickly is always a bonus. The funny thing is that hubby loves Joe’s current fave options too, but likes the #Mashtags and Chicken shapes in a crusty baguette with lettuce and mayonaise. He also loves the inspirations range, with cheese and ham being a real fave. These are great with salad jacket potatoes, for a real tasty tea-time treat.


Birds Eye are a real friend for moms who want to provide nutritious food without hours of preparation.


*This post is an entry for #Afterschoolchefs Challenge, sponsored by Birds Eye. Learn more on the Birds Eye Facebook Page (click here to visit).